Meaning of Kaffir

In order to know the meaning of the term kaffir that concerns us now, it is necessary, first of all, to discover its etymological origin. In this case we can determine that it is a word that derives from Arabic. It is exactly derived from the word “kafir”, which can be translated as “pagan”.

The first meaning mentioned in the dictionary of the DigoPaul refers to an resident of the old colony known as British Cafrería, in the current territory of South Africa.

The Kaffirs, therefore, were the ones who lived in the British Cafrería. This colony was established in 1835 as the Queen Adelaide Province and existed until 1866. Its capital was King William’s Town.

Over time, kaffir became an adjective to describe people who are cruel, savage, brutal or rustic, or those who are in bad taste or vulgar. For example: “This town is full of kaffirs”, “A kaffir at the wheel ran over and killed two people on the central highway”, “What a kaffir celebration, they are all drunk.

Depending on the country where we are, other uses of the term kaffir are established that we are now studying:
-In Mexico, for example, that word is used to refer to a person who is driving a vehicle and does not hesitate to break the rules circulation in some way.
-In the case of Puerto Rico, we can determine that this adjective is used to define someone who likes to make scandals or who behaves in that way as a way to attract attention.
-If we think of Cuba, we come across the fact that there kaffir is used as an adjective to refer to a person who may be a criminal or who is characterized as bad. However, in this country that term can also be used to make it clear that someone has a low intellectual level.

“El cafre”, on the other hand, is the title of a film directed by Gilberto Gazcón and starring Joaquín Cordero that was released in 1984. The film is based on a homonymous book written by Manuel Cubillas Bravo.

Finally, Los Cafres is a reggae group created in 1987 in Argentina. Its leader is Guillermo Bonetto, who was also part of Los Pericos. Los Cafres have released more than a dozen albums and made several international tours.

“If love falls”, “Show me how you are”, “Sinsemilla”, “Son”, “Your eyes”, “Almost that I lose myself”, “The recipe” and “From my mind” are some of themost popular songs known from Los Cafres.

In the field of literature it has also been used to shape the title of different works. This would be the case, for example, of the book “Dad, don’t be kaffir.” In 1991 this was published, which is written by Jaume Ribera. It is aimed at a child and youth audience and revolves around conflicts between parents and children.